REVIEWER: Gary Lien, IT system architect for Life Time Fitness.

BACKGROUND: Life Time Fitness has redefined and expanded traditional approaches to the health club industry with individualized services (personal trainers, swim instructors), nutritional products, health solutions, a health-fitness magazine and athletic events sponsorship.

PLATFORMS: Two Composite servers running Windows Server 2003, multiple SQL Server databases running SQL 2000 and SQL 2005, and a Siebel application.

PROBLEM SOLVED: We needed a customer data integration (CDI) system to streamline development and enable us to improve our key business processes within customer service and human resources. Composite met all our requirements. We are now ensured adequate real-time performance for better user responsiveness and network efficiency. We have easy data access by MMS and Hyperion systems, and also access to other business applications, including Siebel. Composite allows the introduction of new data sources without requiring a rebuild of previous integrations. We have implemented a data archiving feature, split the current database into historical and current data repositories, and optimized performance for customer care, record retrieval and report generation. We can meet corporate goals for security by protecting private customer information and confidential financial data. Our associates now have a complete view of each customer for better workout and instructional recommendations. The technology delivers views that combine member information from point of sale (POS) systems within a MMS and a Siebel marketing/customer relationship management system. Our associates identify the right training classes for their own job requirements and career goals by accessing information about the requisite training with their training histories. This information is stored in separate systems.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Composite Software’s toolset delivers a secure approach to on-demand CDI and data virtualization, enabling us to respond faster to business changes. We’ve reduced our data integration costs while addressing changing customer needs. Composite’s tools have also helped us to fulfill our commitment to quality customer service and to productive, engaged employees. We have realized IT cost savings due to streamlined report generation, elimination of extra staging databases and simplified design for custom applications. Now we are able to centralize a virtual data services layer for accessing customer data, enabling a master data management (MDM) approach. We can optimize business responsiveness in a managed way, with independent data browsing, querying and updating information for business decision-making. We can present a single, unified interface for all data, turning it into understandable business information. We also can eliminate redundant data integration efforts by automating extensible integration of new data sources and exposing the results through standard ODBC, JDBC and SOAP Web services. We have reduced the IT footprint by shifting resources from manual data integration to a focus on business application support. Composite Software allows underlying data to remain in its original location, avoiding replication costs, inefficiencies and consistency problems.

STRENGTHS: The Composite Information Server supports both legacy applications based on ODBC/JDBC, and service-oriented architectures with protocols such as XML and SOAP. Additionally, with its high-powered query capability, it is able to return much more relevant data in a shorter time than the other solutions we evaluated.

WEAKNESSES: Upgrades between major releases have been troublesome for some complex custom views, thereby requiring help from the vendor. However, each subsequent major release upgrade has shown fewer issues than the previous upgrade.

SELECTION CRITERIA: To obtain a single view of our disparate customer data, we needed a robust solution offering ease of use, fast delivery of new applications and fast delivery of data at run time. The Composite products were priced within our budget, and the cost to implement was low.

DELIVERABLES: We deliver Composite-supported views of complex customer and employee data into applications such as point of sale, training, HR and outsourcing performance.,/p>

VENDOR SUPPORT: Vendor support is consistently reliable and one of the best we have ever worked with.

DOCUMENTATION: The Composite Software training and documentation are easy to use and support rapid application deployments.

Composite Information Server 4.5
Composite Software Inc.
2655 Campus Drive, Suite 200
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 227-8200

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